Posts

Want Less Drama in Life? Stop People Pleasing!

One of the things that so many people complain about in their life is the amount of drama that is in it. And one of the biggest problems that causes this drama between us and other people is an inner feeling that we have to make everyone like us; we need to be the solution to everyone’s problems. We need to be there for people so they continue to be our friend… or just nice to us.

At first, we like this feeling with people. We all like to feel that we’re important. We like to feel that the more we help this person, the more they’ll see us as a reliable and trustworthy friend and/or more.

However, as time goes on, we might start feeling that they’re taking advantage of us. That if we don’t do what they ask, they’ll be upset and we won’t hear the end of it.

“It’s their fault that they don’t understand me! If they understood my position, they’d stop asking so much from me!” you say?

Not necessarily. As adults, being stretched thin is totally our call. More than likely, we were the one’s who said yes to helping them in the first place. They asked and we agreed.

We all have demands in life that need our attention. On one hand, some of us are just better at asking for help from others. On the other, some of us are more inclined to be the helper.

If you are that helper type who wants less drama in your life, maybe ask yourself how you can get out of your situation.

More importantly, “How do we stop people pleasing?”.

First, you need to start expressing your concerns and opinions around others by communicating more clearly.

And second, by working on yourself some so it doesn’t happen as much as in the future.

Start Being Ourselves Around Others and Communicating More Clearly

If you find out that you’re a people pleaser, you might be wondering what you can do to stop it right away. Well, that might be a little hard depending on your situation. I mean, you still more than likely want to remain friends with these people – you just want to change your relationship with them a little. So let’s look at some of the things you can do right away that will help give you some space and time to figure out the deeper issues.

Stalling  – Not exactly the best tactic as it’s not very clear per se, but I have to put it in here if you’re looking for some immediate help. You’ve probably already played dumb or said you have too much going on to deal with their request right now (…however they can call you later).  Simply remember that this tactic only gets you so far and that as soon as you say yes, you’re stuck.

Ask for What You Want –  If you’re with a group of people, just say what you want to do. You might not change anyone’s mind, but it might surprise you that some of them might have wanted to do the same thing… they were just too afraid to say anything.

Compromise – If you’re with one other person, simply go for the trade. It might be as simple as saying, “If we do this, I’d like to to this.” Don’t try and force your decision on them. Remember, you’re trying to eliminate stress here. Do it for both parties.

Set a Time Limit – Another way of getting out of doing something you don’t want to is actually agreeing, but saying you can only do it for so long. This is a form of a compromise, but instead you’re giving yourself room to part ways.

Learn How to Say No (Don’t Give Excuses) – Sometimes, none of the other tactics are going to work. Perhaps you don’t like a co-worker’s friends. Or you get stressed at certain events. You simply don’t want to do whatever is being asking of you. When this happens, you’re just going to have to grin and bare the response. Just remember to be POLITE in your response. A simple “no, thanks” typically goes far.

Do Something For Yourself – Many of us agree to do what others are doing because we don’t want to be left behind. However, it’s totally ok for you to do things on your own if you are left behind. In fact, you should learn how to embrace it! None of your friends want to go to the other movie you suggested? Check it out on your own time! Let other’s opinions be things to consider in your decision – just not the final factor.

Whichever of these that you choose, remember that in the end, no one is a mind reader. So remember that they’re not used to you actually voicing an opinion. Also, don’t expect them to suddenly start waiting for your response.

The Harder but More Rewarding Part – Working on Ourselves

Until you examine who you are and adjust, you’re still going to attract the same kind of people in your life. This is true of not only people who want to take advantage of you, but all negative people. So let’s start digging deep and start changing some things around a little bit.

Examine Your Fears – Most of the time when people are people pleasers it’s because we are afraid of the outcome of not pleasing others. In a worse case scenario, if we start expressing our needs, will others accept them? If the answer to that is no, ask yourself if they’re really worth keeping around. Are they a lifter or a weight in your life?

Recognize Your Successes (Keep a Journal!) – Another reason we are people pleasers is because we feel that going with the flow of others adds value to us. You’re totally aware of their success, but of they of yours? Remember times that you have accomplished things. Even if you don’t think they were a big deal. To someone in the world, they are. Did you learn how to finally use roller blades? Good. Got your first meaningful job? Great! Celebrate your wins no matter the size and keep a record of them so you can look back in the future if needed.

Examine Boundaries (and Create New Ones) – Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Do you tolerate the intolerable? Or do you strive for excellence and set the bar up there for others as well? Learn how to identify and label unacceptable behavior for others. When they do it ask yourself why they’re even in your social group.

Stop Basing Your Own Worth By How Much You Do For Others – I saw a post on Facebook not too long ago that said that if the world was full of love that worth would not exist. Here’s the thing: if you hang out with people who do appreciate and respect you, you’re going to find out that you have all the worthiness you need to be successful in life. Stop

Consider the Source (Are You Being Manipulated?) – Sometimes people are just manipulators and you’ll have to learn how to sniff them out. A classic line that manipulators use is “Oh, you’re so great at XYZ! Would you help me with mine?” That doesn’t sound so bad, but on top of that they’ll try and coax you into doing something you hadn’t planned on and try to tell you what your availability AND time frame is to said job. They make the decision for you.

Run from these types of people.

Practice Successive Approximation (Create an A-Z plan and list) – Sometimes you’ll have people in your life that just can’t take the hint. You’ve tried several of the above tactics and they’re still being persistent in trying to get your attention and/or telling you how you can help them.

In this case, you’ll need a plan to get from where you currently are with this person to where you want them in your life. If they’re actions are predictable, this will be much easier to carry out.

An example might be noisy neighbors. Step 1: Just greet them. Step 2: Next time you see them, mention how noisy the neighborhood gets. Step 3: If they didn’t get the hint yet, just go knock on their door and politely ask for them to quiet it down.

Consider who you want to give your time to. – Ultimately your choice is yours to make. Do you want to spend time with someone who constantly makes you feel bad or with those who will respect and care about you?

Don’t be Scared of the Fallout – If someone in your life isn’t happy that you’re setting boundaries and starting to care about your own time and what you invest it in, perhaps you don’t need that person around. I know this is the hard part, but it isn’t your job to worry about what others think of you.

Realize You Can’t Be Everything to Everyone – Frankly, you are who you are. You have your strengths and weaknesses, as does everyone else in the world. Don’t expect to be Superman. Just realize that no one is perfect and you shouldn’t expect for yourself to be. When you have to say no, it’s ok. Just remember that you’re saving yourself in the long run by not rescuing everyone.

You only have so much time on Earth. Make a Stand. Make Your Time Your Time.

Homework

The next time you’re feeling that angry feeling towards someone “controlling” you, think about who they are. If they’re not a boss, client, or family member ask yourself if you need them in your life. Even if they are a supervisor, client, or family member, ask yourself if this constant frustration is worth your long term time and energy. If it isn’t, start looking for a new job or different clients. If it’s with a family member, figure out ways of limiting your time with them. Whatever is in your life right this instant isn’t what you’ve always had and always will have. Change is inevitable. Just become the catalyst and change it yourself.

A 10 Point Financial Survival Guide for Your 20s

It’s been said time and time again that we Millennials don’t appreciate the value of hard work. That we’re good for nothing deadbeats who don’t have any goals or ambitions.

If I felt that were true, then I wouldn’t have started New Inceptions. However, I know that there are many of us who are doing great things, but due to our focus on those great things, we start losing perspective in other areas of our life.

One of the things I believe that many of us don’t get the chance to focus on is finances. I know I didn’t know how to handle most of my finances until after my mom passed. It was because I suddenly had my inheritance that I was like “whoa, I need to figure out what I’m to do with these funds!”

So, now that it’s been a few years of managing assets, I feel that I should share with you some of the things that I did that have helped me keep above water.

Things I wish I would have Done in My 20s

1. Educate myself more about how long term investing works with day to day expenses. You know, I talk all the time about how I started paying attention to finances when I was in high school. And later in my early 20’s, I read Rich Dad Poor Dad series of books. But the truth is, the stuff I learned about finances is so out there from your day to day issues, that I started living for the future and not really paying attention to money planning that would benefit me in the nearer term.

For example, until 2011, I had no idea what IRAs (Roth or traditional), mutual funds, and annuities were or how they worked. I had no idea what index funds were and why I might like those more than mutual funds. No idea. I had no idea what I could be taxed on until I was actually taxed on it. Common Stock vs Preferred Stock? Distributions? Not a clue.

However, I have found some resources that have helped me get a better grip on where I am and what I’m looking to do, and I believe you’d get plenty out of them yourself.

Radio and TV:

  • Dave Ramsey Show (Start here if possible! Kinda all over the board.)
  • Suze Orman (She can be pretty truthful at times. However, you can tell she has passion!)

Blogs:

Books:

2. Build a Line of Credit

If you’re worried about taking on debt as a 20 something, that’s fine. Especially if you’re in college and don’t have a way to pay pack a huge debt that you can easily rack up on credit cards. That said, you need to realize that eventually you’re going to probably want to get a mortgage for a house. Let me tell you this can be a problem, even if you’re willing to put in 50% of the down payment. Any credit card will do nicely for this. Personally, I recommend something with a $1000 limit so that you don’t get tempted to use money that’s not yours on that new TV or wardrobe.

3. Start Tracking My Credit Score

If you’re going to start a credit card, you need to keep track of your credit score. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is by using a free service, but many times you’ll find out that they somehow start charging you on a monthly basis if they ask for a credit card or bank account. The best way to do that is through one of the three credit bureaus such as Equifax.

4. Start Watching My Identity

There are tons of ways that a person’s identity could be stolen today. So when you do use a card, you should probably figure out a way to put monitors up for your own piece of mind. Personally, I have two subscriptions. I use LifeLock AND Equifax to monitor my identity. I would think that LifeLock is good enough (there’s different plans available – I think mine is $100 a year?), but Equifax and the other credit bureaus have the ability to actually do something about your credit while LifeLock just monitors.

Even if you don’t get a service like LifeLock, I recommend checking your credit score at least once a year.

5. Start a retirement account.

Many people think that the word retirement refers to an age. To me, retirement doesn’t take an age. It takes an amount of money. It is the point where you no longer have to work to support yourself. Am I to that point? No. I don’t know if I ever will be. However, that doesn’t keep me from investing. The sooner, the better. In Tony Robbins book, he says, “You have to commit a certain percentage of your income to savings for your financial freedom. Whatever that number is — 10%, 15% — stick to it in good times and bad. Have it taken automatically from your paycheck and put directly into a retirement or savings account.” He says that if start doing this from your 30’s or especially your 20’s, you’ll live comfortably just as you hit your mid 50s.

In other words, it’s better to own a piece of Apple then it is to own the newest Apple phone. Personally for me, as I’m writing this, the one stock I do have is in Tesla and currently it’s up from where I bought it at $189/share to roughly $280/share. I also have a couple annuities, a mutual fund, and ownership in a couple of businesses, and some other odds and ends. Make money work for you sooner than later.

6. Start an emergency fund.

Even if you happen to strike it rich in your 20’s through your first job, you need to save some of that money. Always pay yourself first. Yes, I’d recommend starting to invest some of that, but you also need to keep some of it relatively free just in case. I mean, let’s face it – stuff happens! Instead of taking on more debt to pay for an accident with your car or first house, you’ll be able to pull from this emergency fund. I’d say make it a goal to set aside $1000 as a good starter amount. As you get older, you can increase it to better suit your needs.

7. Make a Plan to pay off Student Loans.

Currently, most of us who go to college do so partially thanks to Fannie Mae and friends. So make it a goal to start eating this elephant one bite at a time as soon as you get the previous items knocked out. First and foremost, get to the ones that have variable interest rates. You never know when the government will jack these up. After than, start looking at your federally backed loans. While the smaller per month payments might sound more manageable, in the long run you’re actually paying more through the interest. If you’re single and working, now’s a great a time as any to get started on repaying your loans. Get them knocked out before you start trying to do anything else in life such as starting a family or buying a house. I’d recommend using 10% of your paycheck towards paying them off.

8. Hustle Everyday (or at least every other day)

I was just listening to a podcast of Lewis Howe’s where he interviewed Kimberly Guilfoyle. Besides the fact that she’s a ball of fire (and if you listen to the interview, it’s easy to see why), she also has hustled most of her life. I mean, wow. Her track record is totally impressive. One part of the interview that stuck with me was when she was talking about when she was in school that she not only was a full time student getting a 4.0, she was also doing an internship at the local DA AND was manager in retail. I mean, that’s like… super hard. Being a student getting good grades was hard enough, let alone adding two other completely different roles on top of that!

Obviously, this shows that she hustled. She didn’t want to have loans when she was done. But it’s not like she did anything special. You can have her results too. Maybe instead of taking a non-paying internship, you can pick up something part time? Or if you already do work part time, perhaps you can pick something else up? Maybe be a tutor if you’re a upperclassman? Or if you’ve already graduated and are working in your first job, maybe the best thing you could do is start your first official business?

The point is, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You never know what’s going to fall out the bottom.

9. Become a Picker

One of my favorite shows that I’ve been watching for a few years now is American Pickers. I started watching because of the old junk that they found and found value in – I inherited plenty and have a curiosity about it. Anymore, however, I’ve been watching to see how they start their negotiating with the people that they buy from. If you think about it, negotiation is something that those who are highly successful in business deals know how to do. Also, if you’re familiar with the movie Erin Brokovich, you’ll remember this clip. Needless to say, if you can learn to make a strong case to get something you desire, you’ll have the world by the horns.

10. Set Long Term Goals

Even though I read Rich Dad Poor Dad in my early college years, I never truly set any goals from reading it. I think if I had, I would probably be in a different financial situation than I am now. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that when it comes to goals, you definitely need a destination. However, I don’t know if the steps are nearly as important as everyone eludes to. If you don’t take part in the journey, it doesn’t matter where your destination is, you’ll never get there. Right?

If this is the case, it makes sense that we should be able to vividly describe what our ideal goals are. Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? These are all things that I think you should think about as you’re on your journey. That end might change a little here and there, but you’ll be much better off for doing it than if you had not.

Whatever your goals are, write them down and start working on them asap.

Can you think of any other financial goals a 20-something should do? Share them below in the comments!

11 Ways to Be Happier Day to Day

Empaths and Narcissists. Two very different types of people. You could say that they’re extremes. On one hand with the empath, you have a person who feels everything that is going on with themselves and the people around them. Perhaps they feel that they’re “out of this world” or misplaced because they see all the emotion. That they have superhuman powers to read people. To sense vibes. Many times, they absorb all these emotions that are around them feeling weighted down by the burdens of the world.

On the other hand, you have the narcissist. One could say that this is the opposite of the empath. They look at others as instruments to get what they want. Many times, these people have become like this because of some sort of pain they received earlier in their life. Furthermore, the narcissist won’t realize that the world doesn’t work this way. That the world is a two way street. They’ll literally do anything to get where they want to get to in life.

In either case, neither will likely be able to create their own happiness. The empath might think that having their own happiness is too selfish. The narcissist, on the other hand, will think that their unhappiness is everyone else’s fault. So why should they put time into it if no one else will?

That said, I think most of us that have struggled or currently struggle with being happy fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Your Happyness is Yours to Build

Just like many things, Happiness is a journey, not so much a destination. The Founding Fathers knew this when they mentioned it in the Declaration of Independence. If you should remember anything about July 4th this weekend, is that in the United States it is the God Given Right to live life, be free, and strive towards our own happiness – whatever that might be. So as we come to this celebration of what the US stands for, I wanted to break down 10 things that we can do to be more happy.

The reason why I recommend the Four Agreements on a regular basis is because I believe it has led me to be happier myself. The agreements are as follows:

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Don’t Take Anything Personal

Don’t Make Assumptions

Always Do Your Best

In these four, I’ve come up with a list of 11 key everyday practices that can help you gain more happiness daily.

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Stop Complaining

Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems. – Zig Ziglar

Chances are you don’t want to be around some that complains all the time. So why would anyone want to be around you if you do? If you must complain, give yourself 5 minutes to do so. Better yet, instead of complaining about something, instead look for a possible solution? No solution? Focus on the positive and perhaps cut a joke.

Focus on the Positive Things in Life

When you focus on problems, you’ll have more problems. When you focus on the possibilities, you’ll have more opportunities. – Unknown

The more you focus on negative things in your life, the more they’ll come in. It will show up in your work, your relations, and everything else. Instead, shift your attention to the positive perspective. In return, more positive things will come.

Blame yourself, not others

The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life. – Hal Elrod

Every one us is where we are in life due to choices we’ve made in the past. Sure, our circumstances are different, but more often then not, many of us take the easier route which in the long run makes us weaker for the hard stuff in life. Take the challenges as they come in life and you’ll be prepared for when crap really hits the fan.

Don’t Take Anything Personal

Stop Caring About What Others Think of You

If you care about what other people think, you will always be their prisoner. – James Frey

Every great leader, artist, entrepreneur, and/or political leader (George Bush is a painter now… wha!?) ignored what people thought of them at one point or another. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be able to take off. Instead, if others are tearing you up, realize it’s more than likely because they’re envious OR threatened by you.

Stop Needing to Be Right All the Time

Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. – Confucius

Learn to laugh at yourself. It’s ok to stand up for things you really believe in, but not on every subject. In stead of trying to be right, learn how to see other people’s point of view. When I argue politics on Facebook, I typically do after understanding the other side’s perspective. Start asking more questions to see other’s points of view, it might open a whole new perspective for yourself… one that you incorporate your old perspective and theirs into an ultimate right answer! 😉

Don’t Make Assumptions

Stop Judging

Ask Questions to Clarify

Begin challenging your assumptions. Your assumptions are the windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won’t come in. – Alan Alda

This is simple. If you’re interested in being successful, learn to make things clear at the beginning. Yes, it’s impossible not to assume 100% of the time, especially if you’re doing something that has been multiple times before, but make sure you’re always asking questions to clear things up before it gets worse.

Always Do Your Best

Be Present

What is presence? It is a grounding and harmony in this very moment; it is a physical alertness, an emotional acceptance, a spiritual awareness and union with what is in front of us in the here and now; it is a vital consciousness to who we are and what we are sensing; it is a mindfulness to what is meaningful; it is the Way – Brendon Burchard

Brendon talks all the time about his life mission being “Did we live? Did I love? Did I matter?”. So often we find ourselves living in the past in how good things used to be. Or we live in the future in how we want things to be. Live in the present. You’ll never get to the future you want if you don’t appreciate where you are now.

Be Fearless

Being Fearless isn’t being 100% not fearful, it’s being terrified but you jump anyway… – Taylor Swift

Fear is a strong motivator in life. Perhaps possibly the strongest to not be great. Perhaps you’re worried about leaving friends behind. Perhaps you’re worried that you might fail in whatever you’re setting out to do. The hard truth is that at the end of the day or even your life, you’re going to wish that you at least tried to do something vs always dreaming “what if”. Don’t waste the gifts that you’ve been given. Go Do Your Thing.

Stop Being So Hard on Yourself

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. – Steven Furtick

I know I’m my own worst critic. I know that inside of us there’s a fan and there’s the scrooge. For many of us, we’ve been told our entire lives that we can do anything we want to do… just don’t screw up. Furthermore, school taught us, pass without failing.

What we don’t learn until after school is that we don’t learn in life without failing. Failing is part of life. Once you accept this, then you start relying more on the fan to motivate you. The scrooge will always be there saying, “you don’t deserve to be awesome”. However, as you start gaining success, you’ll listen to the fan more and more. While you might not be perfect, you give value to others.

Stop Worrying About the Small Stuff

Worry is a misuse of the imagination. – Dan Zadra

We worry about everything and anything. Part of limiting what influence the scrooge has is to realize that others aren’t perfect either. Just because someone isn’t replying to your emails, texts, or phone calls doesn’t mean they suddenly don’t like you.

Learn to focus on what you can do in the current moment and not worry so much on what the outcome is going to be.

Your Turn

So below in the comments, let me know what you do to feel happier on a day to day basis. Are there any tricks or tips that you do when you feel yourself getting down? Chime in and share!

5 Ways to Make Marriages Work

So, a few weeks ago during the middle of the Millennials as Entrepreneurs series, there was a little article that made some waves in my Facebook News Feed. While many friends agreed with it, Maria and I kinda thought it was a little off center.

As we were reading it, it occurred to both of us that the problems that the author, Anthony D’Ambrosio, noticed were superficial problems. That said, I think in general that the problems that many Millennials have are due to much deeper problems. Problems that are going to take some actual time and possibly some self investigation to figure out.

So, here’s my tough love advice in how Millennials (well, really, anyone) can make marriages work. After reading this list, I hope you’ll have better luck in the marriage department!

Statement 1: Sex Becomes Almost Non-existent

My Response: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

First and foremost, let’s not confuse sex columnists with relationship columnists. They are not one in the same. Sex experts generally run in the same circles as pickup artists and porn stars, while you usually find relationship columnists in circles of people like John Maxwell, Les Brown, or a Gary Chapman. They’re typically not the same people.

Need an example of who you might listen to? Ok. Then let’s take an example that I’m sure you’re familiar with: Dr. Drew Pinsky of Loveline.

Now, Dr. Drew has been in many of our lives since we were growing up. (It’s still hard for me to not think of him AND Adam Carolla hosting the show.) However, he’s not just about sex, even though many of us would think he is. He’s actually a licensed Physician and Surgeon. On top of that he’s been married since 1991 and has a couple of kids. So obviously, you can listen to him as he does have experience.

In contrast, sex educators like Emily Morse and Sandra Daugherty, while they might actually have credentials to talk about sex, you can tell just by listening to their podcasts that they have issues with relationships.

Also, you’ll also notice that in the political spectrum, relationship experts are generally more conservative while sex experts are more liberal.

So make sure you’re getting advice from the right kind of expert here.

Now that we have that ironed out, here’s something else to consider. Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages tells you all you need to know about filling up your partner’s love tank. In the article, Anthony says that sex is the “most important part” of a relationship. Well, there’s a type of person that’s like that in Gary’s book. There’s also 4 other types of people who think that the most important part are other things.  One guess is that Anthony and his spouse might not have had matching love languages.

My recommendation? Find a partner who shares the same love language you have so that you don’t have to think about what fuels their fire, so to speak. 

Statement 2: Finances Cripple Us

My Response: Learn How to Live Under Your Means

Having grown up as the only child of a single mom, I’ve kind of always known about the problems of the household. People need to vent at times and frankly who else was she going to tell? Of the many things that my mom could have talked about, the thing that she did talk about the most was finances. I think mainly because she didn’t understand them herself until she was in her late 40’s. Even then, she wasn’t a master. So she made sure that I was interested enough to study them myself. In the end, I learned how to be frugal. Lol, who am I kidding. I might suffer from being a tight wad… but I’d sooner be that than out on the streets.

One of the things that Anthony talks about is that he can’t live life because of all the debt he has.

Well. I don’t have debt. Not much, anyway. Hell, I didn’t even have a credit card until a couple of years ago. Why? Cause either a.) I worked my tail off to get what I wanted in college and bought with cash. or b.) mom helped.

NEEDS vs WANTS

However, her helping me didn’t come free. There was a trade off somewhere. Many times my WANTS were put aside for my NEEDS. For example, I’ve never owned a brand new car. Would I like one, sure. Who wouldn’t? But instead at college, I rolled around in my 1983 Oldsmobile Firenza and later my 1995 Chrysler Lebaron. I made the trade of getting a college degree vs having a sporty looking import. (A side note, it’s 2015 and I just scored an awesome 2007 Dodge Magnum. Pretty pimp if I do say so myself. Has the space for the future me but the engine of the now me!)

Another want? To go on vacation. Like, for it to be paid for and not worry about money. As far as vacations go, the last vacation I took was my honeymoon in 2013. Thanks to gifts from my wedding. Before that, the last vacation I had was in 2003 to Las Vegas… where I didn’t play anything more than $50 at the slots? All other trips I’ve taken have been road trips to visit family. Not really vacation.

Don’t judge your life based on other’s high points.

Another thing he mentions is that he sees others having awesome lives. That we’re “forced to see the life everyone else is living.”

I don’t know what kind of life he’s living, but the awesome pictures that I see others posting on Facebook and other social media are more than likely those people’s high points. To judge yourself based on an endless stream of those highs, is really not fair to yourself. So stop it. Seriously. The people who travel all the time? They probably aren’t in a steady relationship unless you see that person too. The person who posts pictures of their family? They probably desperately want some alone time. One thing that has helped me out quite a bit is learning how to curate my news feed. Now all I get are pictures of cats, memes, and political stuff. Totally ok by me!

That said, if you have no idea how finances work, then you’re going to be the victim of your circumstances. Unfortunately, that rarely ends up at an ideal destination. Want to start learning about finance? A great source would be Dave Ramsey’s show and/or podcast. He’ll give you all the tough love you want.

Statement 3:We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time.

My Response: Put down the controller and go outside, kid.

People who can’t learn to put down their phone or tablet or put down their laptop, apparently were never told to go play outside as a kid. I admit that I am the definition of a gamer and even I know when I’ve had enough. But that’s because I’ve been around technology all my life. I was a geek before it was trendy. I have this clock inside of me that tells me when it’s time to do something productive.

So, first hand, I’ll tell you this: If you want to lose time quickly, stare and interact with a screen that has moving things on it. Time will fly by, I guarantee it. Likewise, as an adult, poking at social media all day isn’t any different. The same synapses are firing in your brain.

Going outside to play makes life slow down as a kid. As an adult, putting down your phone and just being present is what you should be striving towards. Stop worrying about things you can’t control. You’ll drive yourself insane if you do otherwise. Don’t let your social media and technology control you. Learn to control it. Learn to know when enough is enough.

Statement 4: Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved

My Response: There’s an empty hole inside you, dear serial selfie taker.

I have never taken a selfie. Not once. Have I had other take a picture of me? Yes, of course. There’s a difference. In my case, a big difference. I’ve never enjoyed having pictures of me taken – even when I was a kid. I know a part of it was that I didn’t like looking good in pictures – that kind of still lingers to this day. However, I think the biggest thing was that I didn’t like being the focus of attention. I’ve never been interested in being a celebrity.

However, there’s a difference in being a celebrity vs what celebrities have, don’t get me wrong. If I could be a part of the infamous 1%, I would. Even with the media hating on them and people constantly trying to assassinate them or the need of constantly having to worry about million dollar deals on a daily basis, I’d think that would be awesome. Why? Simply because with money does come options to help people in ways that no one person can do otherwise and frankly, who wouldn’t want the ability to have the finer things in life if it was desired?

But outside of being a teacher and speaker, I have no interest in being in front of people. If I am going to be in front of people, I better be adding value to them. 

Statement 5: Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you.

My Response: This is actually a continuation of Statement 4…

Ok, so you don’t take selfies. I’ll give you points for that. But why would people feel it necessary to take pictures of their wardrobes? Or during their date? Why? What’s that going to get them? Again… you’re going for bragging rights or least some form of being a celebrity. The last I heard, true celebrities are made the old fashioned way. They’re selected by the powers that be. Just because some people Liked your last Instagram picture, doesn’t make you an insta-celebrity. If you want people to stick around in your life, leave them feeling better than when they came in it. They’ll never forget you.

So, that’s just my 2p…

What about you? Are you or anyone you know struggling with the above problems? Are you guilty of some of these? Is your significant other? How about a friend and their mate? Did you say anything similar to what I’ve said above? In the comments below, I’d like to hear about cases in your life… and if they were a friend, what you told them!

Millennials as Entrepreneurs, Part 8 of 10: Leading is An Ideal Goal for Us

In part 1 we discussed some statistics about what Millennials want in the work place. I’ll share them again:

 

  • 64% of them say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.
  • 72% would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss, 79% of them would want that boss to serve more as a coach or mentor.
  • 88% prefer a collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one.
  • 74% want flexible work schedules.

 

Look at that second number. 72% of us want to be our own boss. To do that, we have to run our own business. And to do that, need to have some sort of leadership skills.

 

The World is Full of Followers who want to Lead

 

In the 6th installment of this series, I talked about The Prussian Education System contributing to why Millennials are Lost. How it has been used to create a population of soldiers who follow the oligarchy of the Progressive Movement that originally installed it. They want and continue to want followers.

 

The other contributing part to the Lost Generation can be found in part 1, when we saw how Millennials generally want a lot out of life.

 

The catch is that these two ideas contradict each other. One of them is going to have to yield to the other.

 

So far it seems it seems that many of us don’t know which to choose. In fact, many of us are even pushing back our internal clocks to have more time to develop “Me”. It seems like a whole lot of confusion. Do we invest in a job that might have the conditions we’re used to or do we invest in ourselves and create that atmosphere for ourselves?

 

Leaders Get The Credit Through Failure

 

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from our role models growing up is that leaders get the credit. From our coaches in high school, to athletes in the pros, to politicians, and award winning actors, we see that those who succeed get the most credit. It is almost intolerable for us to be unsuccessful. We have grown up most of our life believing that we CANNOT and MUST NOT fail.

 

The problem with this is that we now have a generation of people who don’t really know that failing is a part of learning. That we can’t really learn something until we’ve tried to apply knowledge and screw up.

 

Many of us have not heard of all the failures that successful people have had before they were successful. However, it’s true.

 

As it’s suggested then, we need get out there and fail quicker! Otherwise, the alternative is taking a seat and job hopping in the new economy – something that personally I don’t want to do. I’d prefer security.

 

Leadership is Something Learned

 

Leadership for most of us is appealing and scary at the same time. We know that if we want things to go our way, that we must appeal to others to follow our plan. If we’re successful with spreading the idea, then we find ourself leading. At the same time we know leadership can be lost as quickly as it can be gained if we’re not careful with our followers. So we need to learn how to lead with purpose.

 

A big key in being a leader is actually studying it. Seeing what other people have done successfully before us and actually studying those actions. We can do that through case studies, or the hard way through personal experience OR we can cheat and read books by authors like John Maxwell.

 

Once you have successfully gained influence of others and can wield it successfully, then you are on the path of being a true leader. But just like anything else in the self development world, it’s something that you’ll need to continue to study.

 

Leading By Example

 

In the comments below, I’d love to hear about your experiences at being a leader. Whether you’ve had success or have failed at it, let us know below. Also, if you did fail, what did you take away from the experience?

 

Next week, in part 9, we’ll discuss making the big choice. Those that succeed in building a business will be the ready made leaders after 2020. Will you be a leader or a follower? We’re in a perfect place in history to make our collective mark for other generations to follow!

Millennials as Entrepreneurs, Part 7 of 10: Easiest Method of Self Expression in One’s Career

In the last session of this series, I had a little tough love for our generation. But there was a reason for that. A lot of us ARE lost. Not lost as in a lost cause but lost as in confused. It is said that when people are confused, they lack clarity on what action to take – so they take none. The secret on taking action is to first find out where you are.

 

Just like when you’re lost geographically and you want to get somewhere, you need to know where you’re at so that if you had a map, the map could actually be of use to you.

 

Part of finding out who you are includes finding your personality. Another part includes finding your purpose in life. To Millennials, these are highly important. We are very self expressive. (You might not think you are personally, but then again we are the Generation of “Me!”.)

 

When you find your purpose in life, life gets that much easier. You start making choices that reflect where you want to go. It’s a life hack that is well worth the search.

 

On the other hand, when a person hasn’t found their purpose, there’s a good chance that they’ll jump from occupation to occupation or vise to vise hoping that they can fill the void in their life.

 

How to Find Your Purpose

 

Personally, I’ve learned a lot about myself since I’ve gotten out of grad school. I’ve had time to figure out what makes me tick and what I’m good at. This has helped me clear the view of what I want to accomplish in life. In other words, I’ve found my purpose.

 

Before you start on your path of finding your purpose, you might need to deprogram yourself. I did this with the book The Four Agreements. I highly recommend this book, however it might come off a little out there. So if you want something that’s more down to earth, try this. It has a longer list of things to remember… but it’s still useful.

 

Once you deprogram yourself, the first part to finding yourself is to recognize your personality. Finding your personality helps you learn how you naturally interact with the world around you. Do you live for the future? Do you live for the now? Or do you live based on where you’ve come from? How do express yourself? How do you think? These are questions that can be answered by figuring out your personality.

 

Once you find out who you are including your strengths and weaknesses (and acknowledging them) then you can start looking at finding your passion. Your passion is basically the concept of what you’re naturally interested in. What do you do with your spare time?

 

People might have similar strengths and weaknesses. They might have similar personalities. But the chances for them to have the same strengths, weaknesses, personality, AND interests is a pretty small chance. This is what makes you valuable. You just need to know where you fit. Once you’ve discovered your passions, you’ll be onto finding your purpose.

 

Your purpose is finding out how you fit into the world. And my biggest recommendation is: Don’t try to force it. If you’re a circle, don’t try being a triangle. If you’re a connector of people, don’t try being a super geek.

 

If You Don’t Program Yourself What To Think, The World Will Do it For You.

 

The mistake of not finding your purpose will more than likely land you in a situation you don’t want or appreciate. I’ve seen several people struggle with themselves through a midlife crisis. Yeah, you remember that phrase? It’s not used as much as it used to be, but people still go through them. Why?
Because they have been living someone else’s dream for them. They didn’t take the time to figure out what they wanted in life… until they realized they were a certain age and it wasn’t what was supposed to happen… to them. They might be really successful if compared to others, but in reality, they should have been doing something else the whole time. Have you ever heard of the expression in regards to a person’s career: “I found that I was climbing a ladder but realized that it was on the wrong building”?

 

Believe it or not, this has happened to a number of our parents. It’s one cause for people suddenly seeking divorce after being married a long time.

 

Have Full Reign to Follow Your Purpose

 

As an employee, we’re told what to do, when to do it, and possibly how to do it. Of course, as an employee this is what we signed up for. We’re selling our most valuable commodity, time, for money. If you have a problem with any of that… you should probably be a business owner.

 

However, if you’re an entrepreneur, there’s obviously risk involved. But there’s also risk if you’re an employee as well. As an entrepreneur, you might find yourself not needed. As an employee you might find yourself… not needed.

 

The difference? When you first started your job, you were guaranteed income. You knew you were going to get paid. As an entrepreneur, that might not be the case. However, as an entrepreneur, you have full control on your career. For some that’s a little hard to handle. Yet for others, that’s all we want to handle. We want to be personally responsible for our own success.

 

In the comments below, let me know if you’re on the path that you feel is right for you. If it isn’t right, say why not. If it is right, let me know how you found this path. Did you go through the above process or simply stumble into it?

 

Next week in part 8, we’ll be discussing Leadership by means of being an Entrepreneur. We touched briefly on this in part 6, but we’ll be looking more at why being a leader gets you closer to your ideal self.

 

The E4 Project – Not Just for Glenn Beck Fans

I don’t really listen to political talk too much any more. That’s kind of sad considering at one time I was a political junky. I might just still be, but I tend to stay away from it. On occasion I will listen to your typical political talking head just to get an idea of what’s going on out in the world. For the longest time I used to listen and watch Glenn Beck all the time. From time to time, I’d also check out what Rachel Maddow had to say.  Totally too opposing points of view. But to be honest, I started thinking that both of them eventually had the same thing to say over and over. Plus, I started instilling a rule into my life: if it’s something I can’t do anything about, then I’m not going to worry about it. Thus, I simply stick to my standards (as mentioned in the last post) and live life.

But as I said, I do tend to turn in from time to time and heard Beck talking about this new project of his not too long ago: The E4 Project. The E4 Project is called as such because it focuses on 4 words each starting with an E – Enlightenment, Education, Empowerment, Entrepreneurship. All of which I think are important to know and think about.

In a squidoo post I found on the web, Brooke Allen discusses what each word means as a Beck fan. But I’ll go over them fairly quickly and mention their importance in self improvement.

Enlightenment – Faith. To me, Faith can be understood in two ways. It can be understood in the spiritual sense. That if things are meant to be, then they will happen. Or if you’re more of a numbers person, then Faith would be a single term for the phrase “chances are…”. If you have faith, it will happen! Understanding the fact that if certain things are done with a certain result in mind, then chances are that result will happen.

In the world of improving ones life, it should be known that a fundamental change of a person’s life isn’t going to happen over night. Faith is illustrated over an expanded period of time that a goal will be achieved if you continually work towards that goal. Faith is simply knowing that the crock pot is going to cook the food; that the seed is growing to grow into a plant and letting time and a process do its thing.

Education – We’re all familiar with this term. Personally, I love learning. I always have. I’m just naturally curious about the world and whenever I have a question, I find the answer. Just like in everything else, you can never know too much about yourself, others, and self improvement in general. You can spend your entire life learning how to better yourself and those around you but you’ll never know it all.

Empowerment – Once you have a basic understanding of how people and life works, you need to put it into practice. Start making your life better. (For example, make your own list of standards and start living by them!) Start making the lives of others better by adding value to them. Go out of your way if you need to at times!

Entrepreneurship – If you’re unemployed, underemployed, or not making enough money – then perhaps another job isn’t the answer! Even in this economy, there are so many opportunities out there that aren’t being taken advantage of that is no excuse not to be able to develop “side” income. However many people don’t even think outside the box. It’s a major case of “Who Moved My Cheese?”. To put it simply, the old system is broken and not producing money where we’re used to finding it.

With that said, it doesn’t always take money to make money. I almost find it amusing when people limit themselves based on the lack of money is the reason they don’t do something. “Uh, duh! That’s the reason you’re in this spot in the first place! You haven’t figured out a way to make additional income. This is your chance!” If people just simply start adding some habits in their life that can make them money outside of a job, then they won’t be upset because their job doesn’t pay them. Especially with the advent of e-commerce, the sky is the limit. If you can find a need, fill it, make a profit, and do so with a passion, then you might just have your real career at your fingertips.